“The Persistence of Prayer!” Sunday, 28 August 2022 10:00 a.m.
We have started a new series called: “The Potential of Prayer.” There is so much untapped power and potential that is at our disposal through the means of prayer. We have talked about the conflict in prayer; that the enemy hinders our receiving answers from God, but our prayers facilitate the answer to break through. Last week we spoke about the posture of prayer and how important that is.
James in his book in the New Testament has a lot to say about prayer…chapter 5, he talks about Elijah who, he says, was like us and yet he prayed and received a supernatural response.
James 5:17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
The whole story of Elijah in the Old Testament is an epic story, the story of one man, a prophet of God who took a stand against idolatry and against King Ahab and queen Jezebel who were intent on leading the country into the worship of many gods.
The Lord sends Elijah to pray that rain would not fall in Israel for an extended period of time- 3 ½ years as judgement for its unfaithfulness and idol worship. Then, 3 years later, the Lord instructs Elijah: “Go, present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth.” Even though the rain is willed, predicted and directed by God, it happens in response to Elijah’s prayer.
1 Kings 18:41 Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” 42 So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, 43 and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.” 44 Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!”
Even though God has willed something in the heavens to occur, it is brought about by the power of prayer….. persistent prayer. There are four important factors in this persistence of prayer. They are Expecting, Earnest, Enduring and finally Emphatic.
Expecting – “there is the sound of an abundance of rain! “ Earnest – it’s an intense conviction…. “He went Up…and bowed with his head between his knees.” Enduring - And seven times he said (to his servant), “Go again.” Emphatic - On the seventh time, that he(servant) said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he (Elijah) said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’ ”
Join us in person on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. or via livestream by going to https://www.firstbaptistsudbury.com and clicking on livestream for “The Persistence of Prayer.”